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By Thea Theresa English

Here is how you can eat healthy on a budget

Don't believe the lie that it is too expensive to eat healthy. There are numerous ways you can eat right if you utilize a variety of strategies. One of the best ways to do this is to buy fruits and vegetables while they are on sale, and you should buy produce when in season since you save money this way.

Buy beans and brown rice in bulk

Beans and brown rice are good sources of protein and fiber, and when you are on a tight budget you can create neat meals with these two staples. Some good dishes to make with beans and brown rice include chicken chili, vegetable rice soup, black bean burgers with hot peppers, and brown rice and almond pudding.

Repurpose the meals you've cooked

Don't waste money and food by throwing out your previous meals. Look for ways to make healthy dishes with the leftovers. For example, if you have leftover ground turkey from when you made turkey burritos, you can take the turkey and make a turkey pepper lasagna with homemade chunky tomato sauce.

Hit the dollar stores

The dollar stores have a wide variety of healthy food choices if you are on a budget. Dollar stores have plenty of canned vegetables and fruits, canned fish, and other healthy items such as eggs, milk and apple juice. Dollar stores also have weekly sales so you'll save even more money.

Check out the ethnic food stores

One benefit of visiting the ethnic stores is that you can get diverse and healthy foods at neat prices. This is also beneficial if you are cooking a certain kind of cuisine during the week. If you make Indian food often, you can get the right staples without paying a fortune.

Make a grocery list

It also helps to go through your pantry and write a list of foods that you need. This ensures that you eat healthy without breaking your budget. When you walk in the store, be sure to stick to the list and avoid items that you don't eat a lot of during the week. If necessary, bring someone with you to make sure you shop wisely.

Cut back on dining out

A lot of fast food joints and large scale chain restaurants serve high calorie and sometimes high priced meals. If you want to eat healthy and save money, you should cut back on dining out and cook more meals at home. If you go out to eat, you can order salads, soups or other meals that are not loaded with calories.

Leave the junk food alone

Junk food is pricey and only contains empty calories that add to your waistline. Prepare healthy versions of your favorite snacks. If you love potato chips, you can make oven baked sweet potato fries and drizzle them with honey. Or if you enjoy chocolate bars, you can make a low fat chocolate souffle using mostly egg whites, honey and dark unsweetened chocolate. These suggestions will help you eat right without busting your pocketbook.

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